Portrayals of science and the environment in the computer game 'Civilization 5'

This project investigated the ideologies and portrayals of science in the computer game Civilization 5, and shows that these views lead to the game’s anthropocentric, patriarchal and exploitative relationship towards the natural environment. A content analysis of the in-game text and logical relationships (“rules”) of the game is used, and an argument developed that the presence of ideologies in a game, while unlikely to directly affect players’ behaviour, reinforces these ideologies within the player and their society. This project also demonstrates that computer games can be a valuable topic for scientific communication, and that games studies could be made more widely accessible or interesting by integrating into other disciplines. This is particularly important given the many environmental problems we face today.

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